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We love our dogs. What we do not love is the side effect of dog urine on our lawns. You know what we mean – those unsightly brown “burn” spots on the lawn. They make the yard unsightly and seem impossible to get rid of. And if  like us, you have multiple dogs, you can quickly find yourself with a dead lawn.

How can dog urine turn your lawn brown?
Because dogs eat a high level of protein in their diet, they break the protein down and excrete it as nitrogen in their urine. The result unfortunately, can kill your lawn. You will get the same kind of burn if you put a concentrated handful of fertilizer in one spot. However, it’s interesting to note that not all dog’s urine does this, which is a mystery.

Is there anything you can do to protect your lawn from dog urine?
Here’s some advice on what pet owners can do to protect their lawn and keep their pet healthy and happy.

  • Use a leash to control where your dog urinates.
  • Water the lawn right after your dog urinates to dilute the nitrogen on the grass.
  • Dilute your dog’s urine by encouraging them to drink more water.
  • Try a different high quality dog food. Do not switch your dog’s food to a low quality, low protein food just to save your lawn. There are other ways that will not compromise your dog’s health.
  • Do not put fertilizer on your burned lawn to try and bring it back. Fertilizer’s are also high in nitrogen, so you will just speed up the killing.

There is no real way to remove the spots once they are there. In fact, as mentioned above, trying to use a fertilizer to get your grass to grow back will actually make it worse. It is best to just wait until the grass comes back on its own.